I have been known to be a bit cranky about weather forecasting and forecasters. You wouldn’t even have to twist my family’s arm to get them to admit it to you, and regale you with anecdotes to prove it. Part of it’s just blaming the messenger for the message, as in the Gary Larson cartoon about “Hell’s Weather Forecast,” in which the Devil is saying to a captive audience “And here comes another cold front that’s juuuuuusssssst going to miss us.” When Gary McGrady tells me about the fifth straight day of showery weather that will keep me from riding outside, Gary is the Devil. Even worse is when Gary, or Sue, or Bob, or Doug promises a nice day, but the weather turns out to be cloudy, windy, and cold. Then they lied to me! That infuriates me, as if they were deliberately toying with my emotions. Even if weather forecasters seem to be the only professionals other than baseball batters who are highly regarded if they succeed one-third of the time, it’s irrational to think that they have it in for me personally. No, their incompetence is general and impersonal. (Not you, Gary, Sue, Bob, and Doug; the others.)
So a day like today inspires me to rise above my weather paranoia like the Calm Cyclist I am, thank the aforesaid prognosticators, and admit that (as in Monopoly) the error is sometimes in my favor. The forecast was for mostly cloudy with showers “mostly” in the afternoon. That “mostly” kills me. Either it doesn’t shower at all, or the radar shows light rain, which turns out to be hitting the ground only sporadically, or the showers pass over the DC area right in the middle of the period I could otherwise cycle in, or the clouds look very threatening, but no rain comes, and then it lightens up and starts raining.
But today the sky was already showing some blue when we got up. It kept on showing more blue, until by 10:30 or so it was sunny and bright. So I sallied forth. The air was warm and a bit moist, full of good spring smells. The roads had dried off. There was a bit of a breeze from the SE to make my NW trip easier on the way out. The azaleas were in bloom, the trees were leafing out. The world had been washed clean and bright by last night’s showers. The trail was clear.
I felt so good I climbed Hunter Station Road. The work was invigorating, though I can tell that the effort used to be easier. As it warmed up my sinus stopped running, and I could breathe well. I felt in command of the bike, riding strongly yet within my own limits and parameters. i even hit quite a few major road crossings when the lights were in my favor. Both the ranger truck and the huge ride-on mower gave me a wide berth.
So this ride was a sheer gift, undeserved and unexplained. And much appreciated. I pledge to do more such appreciation and less whining.
Promised rain, wind, dark:
Vanished. Spring sun, smells, dry trail:
I live my Karma.
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2011.